|The fight between Erik Morales and Manny Pacquiao this Saturday in Las Vegas is a super-fight of epic proportions. Outside of a fluke ending (like a massive cut stopping the fight in the early rounds), there is no conceivable way that this bout could fail to be one of the most|
action packed fights of the year. In a time when fighters suffer accusations of "ducking" other fighters, and alphabet groups prevent the most sensible match-ups from happening, fight fans should consider themselves lucky that two fighters like Morales and Pacquiao exist within four pounds of each other. Fans should also consider themselves lucky that both fighters have something to prove. Manny Pacquiao wants to prove that he is the strongest and most dangerous fighter under the lightweight limit, and Morales wants to prove that he is better than his long-time nemesis and fellow Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera.
Erik Morales was never the type of person to run from a hard fight, but you have to suspect that there was a hidden agenda when he signed to fight Pacquiao after dropping a close decision against Barrera. What do you do when a man you can’t even stand to be in the same room with beats you? In Morales' case, you let your pride dictate your actions and you fight the man who completely dominated the man you despise.
Pacquiao became the betting favorite by odds makers in Las Vegas based on this common opponent. If Morales had gotten the decision in the rubber match against Barrera, it seems probable that Morales would have been the betting favorite. Erik Morales has never let a questionable decision hamper future performances; after losing a close decision to Barrera in the return bout, Morales roared back with a vengeance, manhandled former featherweight champion Paulie Ayala, and later knocked out Guty Espadas in three rounds. He climbed divisions, won titles from Jesus Chavez and Carlos Hernandez at 130- pounds, and seemed unstoppable until he ran into Barrera for the third time.
So can Morales rebound again from his last devastating loss? His hatred for Barrera certainly seems like enough fuel for the fire. Combine that with an iron chin, an unbreakable determination, and a power-punching fighter in the other corner and the least you get out of the equation is an amazing fight.
It is possible that Pacquiao could take a points decision against Morales, but the knockout that many fans are predicting seems unlikely. Morales' pride and warrior mentality will practically guarantee that he will be standing when the final bell rings; the question is whether or not Pacquiao will be standing with him.